Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet the Whalesong Project Board of Directors - Kent Noonan

This is Kent Noonan, the Vice President of our Board of Directors. Kent originally joined the project for what he calls "totally selfish reasons." He wanted to hear the whale songs every day and couldnʻt find time to go out in the ocean.

After a couple of years experimenting with home made hydrophones and kayak excursions, he discovered our fledgling project, which was just completing the first season webcasting from a sailboat in Maʻalaea Bay. From the webcast he could hear the whales without having to leave work.

He happened to have some esoteric electronic parts in his lab that were needed for the project, and werenʻt available anywhere else out here in the middle of the Pacific. Dan and Kent met, and an enduring friendship and partnership was born. Kent began to "appreciate what an amazing contribution to the world our project was." He has put in countless hours building and servicing the various generations of buoys so that people all over the planet can connect with the whales and their mysterious songs.

Kent brings wide experience with high tech electronics to our project, and a very big heart. His day job includes lasers, optics, radiation detectors, magnetics, subtle energy research, biomedical applications and more. Ken tries to spend much of his time and energy making the world a better place.

Kent is a big part of The Whalesong Project, and we are all very grateful to have him on board.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Acknowledging the Loss of a Key Whalesong Founder

Itʻs my painful duty to announce the passing of our Founding Board President Ed Bigelow last week. He will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Ed and and I designed elements of our first Whalesong Project buoy on a napkin at Borders Coffee Shop in Kahului back in 2000. He was a guiding light for our fledgling organization as we became a "legitimate" 501C3 corporation. He was a gracious, intelligent, inspiring and good humored facilitator of our Board Meetings for the eight or so years we have been incorporated, until he resigned last year due to health concerns.

Ed had a big heart and an incredibly intelligent mind. His interests and professional credentials were diverse, including science, economics, solar and alternate energy design and production, photography, art and music.

I met Ed through our mutual love of Hawaiian music, through our Kumu (teacher) and friend George Kahumoku, also a Whalesong Project Founding Board Member.

Ed was introduced to Hawaiʻi by his incredible wife Helen. Their mutual love of Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian Culture has had them contributing in many ways to keeping the culture alive in the world, and in bettering the community around them.

Ed was also one of my best friends and the best kind of friend a person could have. And he was my next door neighbor for the past five years. Those who have attended events at my home can testify that Ed was not only an engaging and delightful presence, and a great guitar and ukulele player, but that he also made one of the best Lilikoʻi cheesecakes on the planet, from passion fruit that he and Helen grow.

What are we going to do Ed? You are irreplaceable. You will live on in our hearts.

The picture below is Ed, George Kahumoku, me jamming at my home, Whalesong buoy in the background.